Archive for the ‘hunger and thirst for God’ Tag

Answers – When God Seems Silent (cont.)   Leave a comment

In the last posting we dealt with the subject of our difficulty in hearing from God or feeling His presence at times.  It would be helpful to review that one since this is a continuation of the subject.

There are times in the life of every believer when we feel that God is not listening or not responding to our cries. Sometimes we can feel that He just doesn’t care.  Of course this is not true.  He promised never to leave us and He never does.  Ever.  We have already looked at several reasons for this distance between us.  Let’s look at some others.

There is and always will be a battle for intimacy with the Lord.  The chief desire of our enemy is to separate us from Him so there are numerous ways he tries to do this.  Realizing this is beneficial.  But understand that this is a battle we can and must win.  “Nothing shall separate us from the Love of God in Christ Jesus” Romans 8:35-39

The most common reason for this feeling of distance is usually a wrong perspective on our part … an inability to perceive His presence.  Once when I was in the depths of despair again over this very issue, the Lord provided an answer through a speaker at a conference I was attending.  She was a well known evangelist whose ministry I followed and trusted.  She began to tell a story about how she had felt so dry and far from God and just could not seem to reach Him.  He seemed so far away and not even listening to her.  So she took a week off and went to a cottage alone to fast and pray.  Drinking nothing but water all week she spent hours a day in Bible reading and prayer.  She said that she felt God would answer her because of her striving and count it for faith.  Most of her prayer was crying out to God to come, to just show up and speak to her.  But at the end of 7 days there was still silence and no apparent sign of His presence.  At last she was tired, weak and hungry, laying on the floor crying out in desperation when He stopped her.  He called her by name and tenderly said,  “What are you doing?  Don’t you know that I have been here all the time?  Didn’t I tell you that I would Never leave you?  Why don’t you get up and come sit with Me on the sofa so I can just love you?”

She said the shock of that experience changed her perspective and she started to weep and thank God that He was with her.  She asked Him to make her so aware of His presence.  When she said that phrase, something in my heart understood and responded.  I began to pray that continually.  “I know You are here Lord, but make me so aware of Your presence.”  My perspective began to change by just focusing on that truth.  He IS with me.  He IS here.  Now.  I’m wasting my time and upsetting myself by crying out to be with someone who is standing by my side when I should be enjoying His company.  Eventually it began to be so normal to realize He was there that sometimes when I sat down for tea I’d pour a cup for Him.  And then we would both laugh.

I do not mean to imply that it is this way for me all the time.  I go through things the same way everyone else does.  But I have experienced just enough to understand that this relationship is supposed to be normal.  And all I have seen and experienced in God is just a theatrical trailer for what is available.  Never stop exploring!

For more on this subject, another important post on the archives of this blog is from March 2012 – Intimacy with the Lord – Satisfied Yet Longing Still.

Answers – When God Seems Silent   Leave a comment

Recently I have had questions from readers which helped me to remember that many people struggle with the same feelings. They also reminded me of my own struggles in certain areas and how God brought understanding and deepened my relationship with Him in those times. I’ve been through many things that may be of help to you. Often the Lord has reminded me not to forget the frustration and pain of certain portions of the path so that I may help others who lose their way in the same places I did. Obviously I don’t have all the answers. But I can share with you what He has taught me.

Most Christians have experienced times when it seemed that God was very far away or perhaps He just didn’t care at all. I have been in that place so many times where I thought I would just die if God did not “show up” and come to be with me.

First, let me point out that these feelings are actually a sign of great hunger and thirst for Him! You are sensitive enough to His Presence that you realize there is a distance and you are trying desperately to close that gap. Most people in the world have no idea they could even have a close relationship with God and have no desire for that. Jesus said “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst … for they shall be filled.” (Mt. 5:6)

There are several reasons why we may feel distance between us and the Lord. Let’s deal with the obvious ones first.

Disobedience creates a wall between us and God. “The hand of Jehovah is not shortened from saving nor His ear heavy from hearing. But your iniquities are coming between you and your God and your sins have hidden His face from you, from hearing.” (Isa.59:1,2 LITV) Ouch! Yes, it is true and it happens to all of us. We have wrong thoughts which lead to wrong actions. We leave doors open for the enemy to enter and exploit us and then wonder why God didn’t protect us! Sometimes He is waiting for us to wake up and repent. But “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) Just ask God to show you where you are wrong. Go through a short checklist of what you have read or watched on t.v. or online, review your own attitudes, thoughts and reactions. Then sincerely repent, receive His forgiveness and cleansing and get back up again. Run back to Him and not away from Him. Once we realize we have sinned, the enemy loves to set a trap of condemnation to catch us in. He tells us we are so bad that God can’t love us or have any relationship with us. Don’t listen to those lies. Crush them under your feet and keep climbing.

If God has not revealed anything that requires repentance, don’t go digging for things. He will show you the things He wants to work on, usually a little at a time so that you are not overwhelmed. I used to agonize over the scripture that says, “Be ye therefore perfect as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect”. Then I received some revelation through Hannah Whitall Smith’s little book The Christians Secret of a Happy Life. She points out that the Greek word ‘perfect’ in Mt. 5:48 actually means ‘complete’. When God looks at an apple tree in June, He calls the apples perfect. They are small, green and sour, but the best apple that June can produce and perfect for that season. However, an apple on the same tree in September is red, ripe and sweet. So shall we be if we stay in the process with Him.

There are other reasons why we find it difficult to feel His Presence or experience Him. There are actually times when He plays hide and seek with us for the purpose of drawing us deeper into Him where we might not be inclined to go on our own. (Job 23:9, Song of Solomon 2:9) I had a beautiful experience with Him in this regard that I have written about in a posting which can be found in the archives under August 2012 -” Created for Both Realms – Don’t give up, Keep trying”.

There is also this to consider. We are soldiers in training for the last battle. One day we will rule and reign with Him. Sometimes the training here is intense and would overwhelm us if not for His grace. But we must be trained in all areas so that we are strong in faith and endurance against the enemy. “Endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Tm. 2:3) There are times when we train together in quarters that seem much too close and crowded. There are other times when we train alone in solitary and lonely conditions. Jesus Himself was even tempted by the devil in the wilderness alone. And He cried out from the cross “My God, why have You forsaken me?” Paul reminds us in Heb. 12:2-4 that “You have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin”.

But God never removes His Presence from us to teach us anything or to punish us. In fact, He never removes His Presence from us at all. Never! He promised to be with us always and He always is. (Heb. 13:5) Most often, our feelings of distance and even rejection come from a wrong perspective which is contrary to the truth of Who He is.

We will deal with this issue further in the next posting. For now, here are some other archived teachings on this subject that may be beneficial as well.

April 2012 – Intimacy with the Lord – The Secret Place
March 2012 – Intimacy with the Lord – Satisfied Yet Longing Still
January 2012 – Intimacy with the Lord – Face to Face

A New Breed is Arising   2 comments

There is a new breed of disciple rising up.  They have been in a hidden place of preparation.  Many have experienced severe testing in the fires of God and are now coming forth as gold.  They are stepping into their place and rank in the army of God, clothed in armor and weapons that are not of this world.  They are the burning ones.

Many of these are young, in their 20s and 30s.  Some are even younger.  But their age in years is no match for their maturity in the Spirit.  Some are already becoming high ranking officers under the leadership of the One they love. They are willing to die for Him if necessary and their love for His people is only eclipsed by their love for Him. They are wholly His.

They walk in peace, even in troubled times.  There is a purity of spirit about them that is staggering to the natural mind. It will either draw or repel people.  There is not much middle ground. (2 Cor.2:15,16)  They are unlike any generation before them.  The past with it’s religious entrapments has been cut off.  They have no spiritual baggage to bring with them into the future.  They are completely His … in love, in humility, in joy, in courage and the power of the Holy Spirit.  They are able to see and hear clearly and they are given the wisdom to know what to do with those things that are shown to them.

They have little interest in the things of the world outside of bringing His Kingdom here to change this world. They seek a city whose builder and maker is God. (Heb.11:10,13-16)  They are on a quest for the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil.3:14)  They live to be conformed to His image and as a direct result of this, they are able to be used for His Kingdom purposes without their own agenda getting in the way.  They have crucified their own will and now simply have none but His.

This is not just for those who are in a certain age bracket. If you are alive on this earth now, this is your generation. It’s your time. He is inviting you on this high quest of pursuing Him in full surrender.  If your heart is burning within you as you read this, it is His voice calling to you.  And if not?  Ask Him for more hunger and thirst.  Those who hunger and thirst for Him shall be filled. (Matt.5:6)

Don’t allow the busyness of life to keep you from what you were created for – the grandest adventure of all.  It’s a very poor exchange.

Intimacy With the Lord – The Goal and The Reward   1 comment

Isn’t it interesting how difficult it is for mankind to get to that place of intimacy with the Lord and then to stay there?  Adam had no problem with that.  It’s what he was created for.  He was one with God, made in His image.  Whatever he needed to accomplish just happened naturally as that life flowed through him.  He was created for fellowship with God, not because God needed a caretaker for the garden.  It was all about relationship.

But somehow, after the fall, our enemy has twisted things around backwards.  Now we think that our significance comes from our performance.  We think that in our effort to perform, we will gain God’s favor and therefore relationship with Him.  It is a lie.

Enoch seemed to be the first to recapture that close fellowship with God once again.  He hungered for what Adam had lost.  In Genesis chapter 5 we see the list of genealogies.  By simply doing the math we find that Adam and Enoch had more than 300 years together.  Adam must have told Enoch much about the garden and the Presence of God.  (If this presents theological problems, see my posting from July 16, 2012 Created for Both Realms – The Enoch Experience, where I deal more with this subject.)  So much hunger was created in the heart of Enoch that he pursued God above all else … and found Him.  He walked with God so closely that one day he just “was not, for God took him” to Heaven without even experiencing death. (Gen.5:24)  This was not just a miraculous contradiction to all the rules.  It was recorded for an example to us.  That kind of relationship is still available.  And consider this – Enoch did not live in days of Heaven on earth when everyone around him walked with God.  It was only 3 generations later when Noah was born.  By that time mankind had become so evil that God had to destroy them all except for Noah and his family. (Gen. 5,6)  Enoch lived in very dark times but his hunger and thirst for God dominated his life so much that he would not give up until he regained what Adam had lost.  This is not a dream.  This is real and very much available … at great cost.  We must desire Him above all else.  He is the goal.  He is worth much more than all we must overcome to find that place of intimacy and live there.  He is the reward.

Can you relate? Are you so thirsty for more of God that sometimes you think you’ll die if He does not come and quench the thirst that He has placed within you?  And when He does come and touch you, you find that you are left satisfied yet longing still.  This is because there is always more of Him to find, to pursue.  He satisfies your heart and also expands it at the same time so that you are able to hold more of Him.

God’s heart cries out for intimacy with us once again as in the beginning.  Listen carefully now for His voice deep within your spirit.  He is calling your name.  Just say yes and run into His open arms.

Drawing Away With Him   3 comments

At the beginning of this new year there is nothing more important than to draw closer to the Lord, to draw away and spend time simply being quiet and alone with Him.  We must quiet our spirits enough to realize His presence with us.  He IS with us.  He promised to be and He is, but we need to be made more aware of Him in the midst of all the noise of life here in this realm.  This requires discipline on our part as well as help from Him.

In this post I want to help us do that by re-emphasizing things that have helped me draw closer to Him.  Instead of writing the same things again, there are some past posts from this blog which were written for this reason.  In fact, I’m reading them again myself! Here are a few:

Face to Face – Jan. 20, 2012
Falling in love with Jesus – Feb.11, 2012
Satisfied, yet longing still – March 26,2012
Learning to quiet your spirit – Dec. 3 and 17, 2012

There are also people whose writings have shown me that there is so much more, a life in God I never dreamed of.  They are listed on my page of recommended reading.  Among these are Rick Joyner.  His book, The Final Quest opened the realm of visions and prophetic experiences for many of us and drew us into a much more intimate relationship with the Lord. Now he has written a new book called The Path.  It is written in the same style as The Final Quest and is taken from his experiences in Heavenly realms with the Lord, with angels and many of the saints in Heaven.  The revelation contained in this book is acutely important for understanding the times we are living in now.  I want to take this opportunity to highly recommend this book to you.  The link below will enable you to read the first chapter at no cost and/or to purchase the book or the e-book from Rick’s website. This is not a book to speed read but to read slowly, a little at a time, and meditate on.  The Lord will give you new revelation and understanding of Him as you read.

http://www.morningstarministries.org/store/books/rick-joyner/path-0#.UshRUvuiIcY

Drawing aside with Jesus now is more than just a good idea.  It’s crucial for the times we are in and our ability to not only stand, but be the over-comers He has called us to be.  May His voice call you into the secret place with Him and may His love overcome all the distractions in your life so that you have eyes for Him alone.

There Is Always More   1 comment

“My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” (Ps. 84:2)

The presence of God is rightly addictive.  After you have looked into His eyes and seen the love He has for you, after you have felt the strength and safety of His arms around you – nothing in this realm can compare and you will constantly be longing for more of Him.  And there is always more!  There is so much more than these mortal bodies and minds can ever experience.  Even in eternity He will be continually revealing more and more of His wonders to us.  The angels who have been with Him from their creation are still crying “holy, holy, holy” in response to the facets of His character that are continually unfolding before them.  He is unlimited.  There is always more of Him to learn, to see, to experience, to love.

This is a relationship, a love affair.  Nothing and no-one else can ever truly satisfy our hearts but Jesus.  Every other earthly relationship is a gift from Him but there is none like Him. To hear His voice, to see Him smile, to feel His hand holding ours leaves us at the same time satisfied yet longing still.  We are deeply satisfied and content, yet knowing there are depths of Him that are still waiting to be explored.  His love is an invitation for more and we are invited to pursue Him into depths beyond our imagination. (Eph.3:20, Ps. 42:7)

Leave behind the old mindset of “How much can I get by with?” or “How near the world can I live and still be a Christian?”  These things are light years away from the true relationship He longs to have with us.  Run away from the Pharisees who split hairs and burden you with lists of regulations and rules.  That is only religion, and a very sad and heavy existence. Change your mindset to questions of “How close can I get to Jesus?”  “How much of the Heavenly realms can I be allowed to see?” “How much time can I spend in His presence?”

Follow your heart’s cry for your Father and His Son, who is the Lover of your soul. Those who hunger and thirst shall be filled. (Mt. 5:6)  The wind of the Spirit will blow away the chains like cobwebs and free you to come running into His arms of love.

May you be blessed with hunger that only He can satisfy.  And may you be drawn ever deeper into His presence.

Created for Both Realms – Don’t Give Up – Keep Trying   1 comment

Have you ever become frustrated in your quest for intimacy with the Lord?  Of course He is here with us all the time.  He said He would never leave us and so He never does.  But there are times of drawing closer to Him, of seeking His face, of forsaking all other things to just spend time alone with Him. Sometimes when we try to do that we are immediately bombarded with the thought bombs of the enemy.  Every distraction crowds into our brains until it’s a continual fight to keep pushing them out and focus on Him alone.  Of course it’s a fight. But it’s one we must win to break through into the life He has for us.  Remember that He IS the reward.  Knowing Him, drawing closer to Him, spending time with Him is not only the goal but also the reward.

Let me share something that happened to me during one of those times. I had become weary of seeking and felt I was getting nowhere.  Then finally I began to be aware of both realms at the same time.  I was sitting in a chair in the living room but now I could also see myself walking in a forest. ( Have you ever had an experience like this and wondered if it was really God or just your imagination?   And have people told you it was crazy?  Don’t believe them.  This is supposed to be a natural lifestyle for a child of God.  We were created with this ability.)

Swiftly now the spiritual began to overtake the natural and the vision became uppermost in my spirit eyes.  Sunlight streamed through the trees of the forest down to the mossy floor.  Birds were singing and a soft wind was blowing through the leaves.  Suddenly I was aware of someone else up ahead darting in and out among the trees.  Startled, I just caught a glimpse of a man looking back over his shoulder.  Making eye contact for a split second assured me it was the Lord.  He seemed to be hiding from me!  I could barely see Him as He ran between the trees and the thick foliage.  But I knew it was Him and He was calling me to follow Him, to chase Him.  Now my heart led the way as I ran after Him and He led me deeper into the forest.  At one point all I could see was His arm coming out from behind a tree and His hand beckoning me to come.  Still I followed, determined to go wherever He was leading and not lose sight of Him.

Finally He waited for me to catch up to Him.  He took my hand and ran with me out into a meadow where we danced together in the sunlight.  Then a troupe of angels appeared and danced with us.  In the midst of all of this, Jesus looked into my eyes and spoke tenderly to me.

“This is what is really happening, My love.  I’ve been playing hide and seek with you.  I’m drawing you and calling you into places you otherwise wouldn’t go.  And I’m pleased with your determination and persistence to follow Me even when you can barely see. Your love has captured My heart.”  (Job 23:9, Song of Solomon 1:4, 2:10, 4:9 )

Basic lesson – don’t give up.  Keep trying.  The reward is so far beyond your imagination.  The reward is Him.